Berry senior dies of cancerous tumor

Jessie Goodson, Campus Carrier News Editor

Allie Pritchett, Viking Fusion Executive Director

UPDATED story April 30, 2018

On Sunday, the Berry College community mourned the loss of the fifth student death this academic year after senior Anna Trahan died from a cancerous tumor.

“Many of you have had Anna in your prayers as she battled this very aggressive cancer this semester,” Dean of Students Debbie Heida said Monday morning in an campus-wide email. “As a college community that loves deeply, our hearts are broken and we grieve with her mother, Tamara, and her sister, Sunny, who is also a Berry senior.”

Trahan, of Cartersville, learned of her cancerous tumor on Jan. 16 after experiencing increasing pain near her lower spine. Test results showed the 10-centimeter tumor was pushing against a nerve in the curve of her tailbone.

Funeral arrangements have not been made at this time, according to Heida.

Previous Story posted on February 8, 2018

Senior Anna Trahan, an animal science major and women and gender studies minor, has been involved with Campus Outreach at Berry and stayed busy with her major. Just before the start of her last semester of undergrad, Trahan got news of a tumor in her lower spine.

On Jan. 16, after further testing and scans, Trahan was informed that the tumor formed in the curve of her tailbone was cancerous. The tumor, about 10 centimeters in size, is pushing against a nerve, causing pain to Trahan and increasing the risks of treatment.

“I’ve had a lot of medical issues, so it’s not necessarily surprising to me,” Trahan said. “It’s just another thing that I have to overcome, and that’s fine with me.”

There aren’t many doctors specialized in tumors like this one, so the cost of treatments is high. Insurance doesn’t cover everything, which leaves the Trahan family to pay the rest of it. A GoFundMe me was created to help the family raise money for treatment. As of Feb. 7, according to the fundraising page, $2,325 has been raised out of the $15,000 goal by 51 people in 17 days.

Trahan is taking a leave of absence this semester, alongside her twin sister, Alexandra Trahan. Trahan and her sister have been attending Berry together for four years, both animal science majors and taking those classes together. Alexandra will be with her sister throughout treatment, and they both plan to return to Berry and complete their undergrad in the fall.

“We’re looking at this as sort of a blessing in disguise, because it’s been nonstop Berry since freshman year,” Anna Trahan said. “This gives us a chance to break.”

Trahan will undergo radiation treatment during her leave of absence, with the possibility of surgery. She said that she is mentally doing okay, and that this is just an obstacle to get over.

“I know I can overcome it and get through it,” Trahan said.

For anyone interested in donating to Trahan’s GoFundMe, the page can be found online at

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